One thing that I always do when I cast the runes is to record the results so I can look back at each reading at a later date. In order to do this you want to make sure to write down as much information as you can. The best way that I’ve found to do this is to use a rune cast record sheet. They’re so useful to me that I’m sharing them here.
All downloads listed are PDF files.
Download all record sheets in a ZIP file: All Rune Casting Record Sheets
At the top of each sheet there are spaces to record the date and time, for whom the rune cast was for, information about the surroundings (or setting) and the question being asked. Next will be a section that will allow you to draw in the rune symbols that you picked for each spot. You are then given an overview of what each space in the rune cast stands for or means in relation to the layout. You can scribble down what each rune means or general notes on what the rune is trying to tell you for each spot. Lastly, there is a section for any additional notes you may have – the weather, your health condition, which rune set you were using
This a layout taken from the Icelandic Saga titled, “Egils saga Skallagrímssonar” (Egil’s Saga). In this story Egil Skallagrimsson is a master poet, warrior and rune master who accomplishes much in his lifetime. While this story does offer a lot of insight into the uses of the runes we are especially interested in his rune work in chapter seventy-three. It is in this chapter where we see Egil cure Thorfinn’s daughter, Helga, who had become sick because of some runes wrongfully carved on whalebone. The runes were originally carved on whalebone and placed in Helga’s bed. But because the person who carved those runes was not a master of the runes, Helga became sick and lay dying in her bed until Egil came, scrapped off the old runes, and cured her by placing healing runes onto the whalebone.
For this reading we do something a little different than most other rune readings you may be familiar with or even come across in other books. Instead of each rune having it’s own unique meaning we break this twelve rune layout into four “group of three” positions. For each group we take all three runes and read them as it they were “speaking” to us as a whole. Basically it’s like doing a typical three-rune reading and at the end of that reading you look at what all three runes are trying to say to us as a whole.
The four groups derive their names and meanings from the saga, the characters, and their purpose in the story. It’s not necessary to read and understand Egil’s Saga in order to use this layout but it can help, especially if you ever do a spur of the moment rune cast for someone and would like to use this layout. Then knowing the story can help you to remember what each group stands for more easily.
Group 1 – Runes 1, 2 and 3 – Carver’s Intentions
In the story we see that the original rune carver had specific intentions for what he wanted the runes to do. This first group acts the same for us during a cast. We consult the runes because we have certain situations, goals or intentions. Before you do this cast figure out what it is that you want to know from the runes. Keep this in mind through the entire cast, even as you pick up your runes and place them in the layout positions. These first three runes will tell you what the runes think about your intentions. It is important to keep what they say in mind as you work towards your goal.
Group 2 – Runes 4, 5 and 6 – Helga’s Results
Helga is the woman in the story who gets harmed due to the result of wrongfully carved runes. For our purposes this group of runes lets us see the possible “wrong” results that may come about if our intentions are not pure or we are not willing to put forth effort to move towards our goal.
Group 3 – Runes 7, 8 and 9 – Thorfinn’s Concerns
Thorfinn is the father of Helga and, in the story, we see him worry about his daughter, as she lay sick in her bed. This group of runes represents any outside concerns or obstacles that may come into play as we move towards our goal. Outside influences can do one of two things for us. First, they may support us and help us on our way to achieving the results we are looking for. This can come in any number of ways. If our goal is to be financially secure in our later years support may come from family and friends who help us out in troubled times, or even help us to find a different job that pays more and helps to secure our financial goal. Secondly, outside forces can be negative and can try to hinder us as we strive towards our objective. Again if our goal was to be financially secure in our later years a negative influence may be shown to us in the runes. We may see that our spending habits or generosity with our friends is not letting us put away the money we may need at a later time. The runes will show us what we should keep an eye on.
Group 4 – Runes 10, 11 and 12 – Egil’s Results
Egil is the master of the runes. Despite the wrongly carved runes, their results and even the concerns of Thorfinn, Egil manages to make things right again. It is only through his masterful rune skills that this is possible. He can shave the runes off the whalebone, carve new runes, and make things right for us once again. While we aren’t dealing with carved whalebone we are dealing with a rune layout. We shouldn’t have to cast the runes again to make sure we get the desired results we are looking for, we should only have to look at this group of runes to help guide us. Despite the previous groups and what they have been telling us, this last set of three runes lets us know how we can overcome all that we have been told and still achieve our goal. This does not mean that we can disregard the previous groups and just follow this last group and have everything work out fine. This last group just lets us know how we are able to reach our goal while keeping in mind the possible difficulties of the first three groups.
Since this rune layout isn’t a typical layout it may be a little difficult to do the first few times. You may become a bit confused as to what the runes are saying to you. In other layouts reading each rune individually isn’t a difficult thing to master. However, with this layout you need to read a group of three runes as if they were one. Until you become familiar with your rune set you may find that you’re not seeing the “whole picture” and that this reading isn’t always as exact as other layouts may be. If this is the case don’t give up. With practice you’ll soon see that this is a powerful layout that can give you great insight into just about any topic you ask the runes.
If you wish to record your rune casts I’ve created a a printable recording sheet for the Egil’s Whalebone Layout rune cast.
File: Egil’s Whalebone Layout Record Sheet
Filesize: 130.27 kB
Rune layouts and spreads help us to figure out what the runes are saying to us. Where as the runes themselves tell us what they mean, we need to know what and where those meanings come to play in our lives and the questions we ask of them. The layouts and spreads provide us with such a structure as well as that information.
You may be asking yourself, “What’s the different between a layout and a spread?” Well to be honest there isn’t much. While reading and finding out more about different rune layouts I have come to find the similarities between rune layouts and tarot card spreads. Some authors even adapt tarot card spreads to use with the runes. I find nothing wrong with this but choose to call such casting structures “spreads” instead of “layouts” so that I can remember that these “spreads” where not created specifically for rune casting.
Choosing a layout or spread will not be a difficult thing to do. If you have a question that’s going to need some in-depth information you will want to pick a layout/spread that uses more tiles. This way you’ll get a more specific reading and better guidance. On the other hand if you have a question that is more general then you can get by with a smaller layout/spread.
It is still unknown if the runes were first developed for the use of a writing system or for the use of divination (or casting lots). Either way, in the past, the runes were used for casting, we even see evidence of that in mythology and sagas. Recently there has been a new found interest in new age items and we have see a revival of using the runes for casting and divination. You can now buy a set of runes almost as easily as you can buy a deck of tarot cards. However, if you want your runes to be special to you there’s no better way than to make them yourself.
Once you have your set of runes, what do you do? Well there are many fine books out there to help get you started. If you buy your runes, a lot of sets come along with a small starter book that will introduce you to the history, myths and meanings of the runes as well as how to cast them. If you would like to make your own you can follow the guides below and then use the rest of this site to find out the meanings and images.
So let’s get started…
Picking a rune set – Decide which rune set is best for you to use for casting.
Making your own rune set – Find out how to make your own personal set of runes.
What you need for casting – A list of item that are good to have for casting.
How to do a reading – Find out how set up a reading and where and when to cast.
Casting layouts and spreads – A list of casting spreads and layouts to choose from.
Casting record sheets – Here are a few PDFs for you to use to download, print and record your rune casts on.
Improve Your Casts Through Meditation – Learn how to improve your rune casting through meditation in this 4 page article.
* Layouts that were created by Dan Gronitz for this website. If you wish to use any of these layout ideas in any media please contact me.
** – Indicates a rune cast adapted from a tarot card spread.